Home Buying in San Fernando>Question Details

Jose, Home Buyer in Reseda, CA

should i give up looking for a house.?

Asked by Jose, Reseda, CA Thu Feb 11, 2010

i got approved for 250k, i been looking for almos 6 months in the area of san fernando valley,ca. i work with three different agents and no luck. the house that some of this agents have showed me are very destroy. should i give up or start looking in a different area or change my agent again? or do i have other opptions and what that would be. thank you for your time. i just want a honest answear.

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Brittany Sanchez’s answer
I just wanted to add that at first I was looking ONLY specifically in the city of San Fernando as well as a little bit of Sylmar. I was about to give up and then our agent told us about this property in North Hills. Hubby grew up a few blocks away from here and in the past this area was NOT good.. so when she was first telling me about it I just kept thinking "no, no, no" but then we checked it out and decided it was probably this house or nothing.. and the area did not seem bad... we kept driving around and it seemed very nice. We talked to neighbors & random people on the street that said the area has improved since the new police station was built in Mission Hills. Well since living here we have been correct. There are some worse areas but we are by Nordhoff & Sepulveda and it's very nice. We frequently drive around in the late hours of the night to have a drive and talk (husband gets off work at 1am so we are on a weird schedule) - and never see anything bad. It all depends on what your definition of an acceptable neighborhood is.. but I would say have an open mind because at first we did not..

Do not give up no matter what others say. I am 22 and I am so glad to have accomplished this. I have co-workers that make more than me but are renting with roomates because they refuse to leave "West L.A." well I am perfectly happy here in North Hills.!!

Since living here I would say to check out Northridge, Van Nuys, North Hills, Mission Hills, San Fernando, Sylmar and even some parts of Panorama City and Pacoima. Don't forget to look for townhouses and PUDS. Here is an example of one:

Townhouse - http://www.redfin.com/CA/North-Hills/9650-Sepulveda-Blvd-913…
http://www.redfin.com/CA/Sylmar/14152-Foothill-Blvd-91342/un…
http://www.redfin.com/CA/Sylmar/14365-Foothill-Blvd-91342/un…


PUD - These are GORGEOUS I wanted in this complex but at the time there was none in our price range that weren't short sales. look for these http://www.redfin.com/CA/Sylmar/13463-Twin-Palms-Ln-91342/ho…

This was our other favorite complex.. Look for others with this same address. We went inside the gated community and let me tell you - it was GORGEOUS. http://www.redfin.com/CA/Sylmar/15232-Foothill-Blvd-91342/un…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 30, 2010
Oh man do I know what you are going through...!! We were FHA and we had around the same range as well. I know it's probably not what you wanted but check out townhouses. Our agent got us into a townhome in North Hills for 150k when we were approved for 240k but were losing all the houses we were bidding on to investors. Our house is 3 stories and over 1000 square feet.. it's gorgeous and I can't believe we only paid 150k. I miss the idea of having a yard but love my house. Some of North Hills is not so nice but where we are it's very peaceful.. There are also some very nice PUDs in your price range there were some we saw in Sylmar that were gorgeous and North Hills has some too. These type of homes are more like townhomes but have small yards and are detached and are HUGE.

I can reccomend you my agent I used Paris 911 specifically the real estate agent Jamie. Contact Connor McIvor he was always very honest and very helpful.

Your best option is find an agent that will have listings in your area - it's easier to get a listing when it's your agent's own listing. Don't give up..!!! I have friends that needed a VA home in South Central as well for under 200k and they found it as well after loosing about 20 homes. It just takes time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 30, 2010
Jose, unfortunately for buyers, this market is very competitive. Most sellers are accepting cash and conventional offers over VA or FHA offers. I would recommend contacting the listing agent and he may be willing to accept your offer if he know that he will also represent you. It doesn't benefit any of your current agents, but it may help you get in a home quicker. Another alternative is to really have a one on one with your agent(s) and really identify your needs and wants in that area. San Fernando Valley is very hot right now...literally. You may have to shed a couple items from your "want" list to compete with the other buyers. Good luck with the search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 19, 2010
NEVER give up. You might find something comes up one day after you quit looking.
I have been looking since before the bubble began and priced me out. Now, I am almost ready to buy. If the right price came along I would be.

Instead, be smart. You may find that you can not buy anything now. Maybe it will be 2 or 3 years before you can. Instead of complaining about it make the best use of that time. Save every penny you can. You may be amazed at how quickly money can add up over a short time. If you could save $500 a month in one year you would have saved $6,000. In 3 years it would be $18,000. That is a nice chunk of change. Even at $200 a month it is $2,400 a year and $7,200 after 3 years. Still not a bad addition to your pocketbook. Learn all you can about the buying process. Learn all about the contingencies and what you should and should not include in a contract to protect you, or to make it more likely an offer will be accepted.

Be honest, does renting or buying make more sense for you economically? Look below and figure it out.
http://www.trulia.com/blog/dan_chase/2010/01/does_it_make_mo…
It makes more sense to buy? GREAT!!! Look below for some ideas on what to do while you are trying to buy a house.
http://www.trulia.com/blog/dan_chase/2010/01/i_want_to_buy_a…
Below, I have a list of things that could be a concern with any property. Look at it and be prepared.
http://www.trulia.com/blog/dan_chase/2009/11/questions_i_wou…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
As an agent, my first job before showing any houses to my buyers is to understand their need. Why do you have 3 agents in just past 6 months? Every agent needs time to know and understand their clients's needs, give them sometime and whole truth. Also, your agent must be honest to you as well, if what you are looking for may not exist in the area you want . Buying a home is dictate by demand and supply theory. The high demand area usually have high price tag. Your budget is not impossible, but you need to work hard finding it. Act quick when you see it, get your paper work ready as you go seeing them. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
Jose: $250,000 in that area of the San Fernando Valley is very tough to find. You are most likely competing with cash buyers, and investors in that area, (and in that price range). Investors are purchasing these homes and fixing them up and renting them out. Seek out another area, if you can that has homes that are priced more reasonably.
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Web Reference: http://www.soreal.biz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
Dear Jose,
You might want to try another area if you cannot find anything in your price range. I'm sure your agents are working very hard to try to find a property in your range. Your other option is to consider a condo or townhouse that might be closer to your budget.
Best of Luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
Three agents in 6 months? And now you want to make it 4? That's a major problem.

Find an agent and stick with him/her. If you do change, interview several different agents before making a choice. Make sure he/she understands what you want and what your limitations are. Make sure he/she understands your style/manner of looking for properties.

Are you changing agents, or are they dropping you? Figure out what the problem is.

Remember, too, that the homes on the MLS are limited. If there are only a few, not in good condition, in your price range, then that's the way it is. Changing an agent isn't going to make more homes appear on the MLS. It just won't.

What you need is an agent who'll take some time with you and explain your options. As you correctly note, maybe the answer is to look in different areas. Or, as is suggested below, sometimes homes that appear in poor condition don't need that much in the way of rehab. Example, there's a community near where I live. Homes sell for about $630,000. There's a foreclosure on the market for $470,000. It needs some work on the inside--paint, new kitchen cabinets, some new flooring, etc. But it would be fully liveable with $15,000-$20,000 of repairs/rehabs. Someone could buy it, put $20,000 into it, and end up with a house for $140,000 less than the houses on the same block. But buyers are afraid of doing it. The same lesson, on a smaller scale, might work for you.

Along those lines, look into a 203k loan. It's an FHA loan that includes rehab costs in it. That way, you might be able to buy a home in poor condition and have the fix-up money included in your mortgage. Ask your Realtor about that option.

Another possibility is to do a lease-option or lease-purchase on a property. That'll open your prospects up to homes that might be on the market as rentals, so you're not competing against so many other potential buyers. Again, ask your Realtor about that.

So, don't give up. But if you've been doing something that hasn't been working (like changing agents in order to try to find homes that apparently aren't on the MLS), then change what you've been doing. Look elsewhere. Or look at homes that need some fix-up. Or look at potential lease-options and lease-purchases.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Hi Jose,
It's very hard and competitive. I do believe you need to be more flexible and expand your search to more areas. Don't get discouraged and you will eventually get one offer accepted. I don't know what type of loan you are doing, but if you are an FHA buyer it's even harder. If I can be of any help, here is my contact information.
Regards,

Liliana Alfonso
Dilbeck Real Estate
liliana.alfonso@dilbeck.com
818-414-0396 cell
http://www.liliana4realestate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
Hello Jose,

Don't give up. You stick with one agent. In order to be competitive you should remain with the one that is doing the best job for you. It's not the agent but probably the price point your in which is very competitive.

6 months is nothing.

Best,

Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
mcarrabba@kw.com
(323) 899-2900
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
There is a program out there for first time home buyers that will qualify you for no money down, no closing cost loan, with rehab funds. Once you are qualified you can be on the same playing field as cash buyers because you are not restricted as in other loans. Don't give up!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
Hi Jose,

There is a tremendous amount of competition in the Valley for places in the sub-$300,000 range. Unfortunately, if you are an FHA buyer then the majority of lenders selling foreclosed property will look at that type of loan unfavorable, and give precedence to all-cash buyers and buyers with conventional loans with more money down. You just have to be patient. I have been working with on FHA buyer who has written 7 offers since August of 2009 without even getting a single counter-offer, sometimes offering as much as $30,000 OVER the list price. But we kept at it & they just got an offer accepted and are going into escrow today.

As far as the quality of places, many of the houses in that price range will not be in the greatest condition. Go into it with an open mind & eye and there are many things you can do to fix up places - this even gives you the chance to add your own personal touch to the remodeling.

Don't give up - it is likely not your agents fault, as long as they are communicating with you..

Good luck!

John Barry
DRE #01856079
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Cell: 323-810-7976
Email: john.barry@coldwellbanker.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RealtorJB
Twitter: http://twitter.com/RealtorJB
Web Reference: http://www.jbknowsthevalley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
First place your approved 6 months ago you need pre-approved again for a loan those letters are only valid for 60 days when you submit an offer an out dated letter will be declined.

If you are searching in a particular area can't locate a home you like best search in another area.

Many home buyers anticipate the perfect home have you consider locate a home in area you like, and customize the interior to your specifications? Amazing what a can of paint , home furnishings can do for a home, lighting, additional accessories.

Lynn911
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
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